Newcastle Law School

Environmental Regulation

Environmental Regulation Research Group

Research Group

The Environmental Regulation Research Group is an interdisciplinary research group based in the Law School, and reflects the School's particular expertise in the area of environmental law.

Members include lawyers based in the School, political scientists, rural social scientists and representatives of the physical sciences.

The Group’s research is supported by the wider interdisciplinary infrastructure and expertise provided by The Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIRES), which has an explicitly collaborative and interdisciplinary ethos and the Sir Joseph Swan Institute for energy research.


Within the Law School, the Group’s expertise is manifested in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

  • On the undergraduate level, the Group’s members contribute to the Environmental Law module (optional in Stage 3).
  • On the postgraduate level, the Group’s members are heavily involved in the Law School’s LLM programme on Environmental Regulation and Sustainable Development.

In addition to this, the Law School has a strong record in the supervision of postgraduate research students (both PhD and LLM by research) in the area of environmental and land law. For the purposes of scholarships and funding of postgraduate research, the topic of environmental law has been accredited as a ‘pathway’ for the recently launched Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) run jointly with Durham Law School.

Finally, members of the Group are affiliated with the journal Environmental Law Review which publishes cutting-edge peer-reviewed research in the area of environmental law.

Previous Activities

Within the Environmental Regulation Research Group a broad range of interdisciplinary research is carried out in environmental law and environmental policy. For example:

A Sustainable Countryside? Regulating New Technologies for Food, Farming and Ecology (21 Sept. 2011)

The Environmental Regulation Research Group hosted a one day conference on September 21st 2011 (starting at 9.30) at Newcastle Law School) focusing on the issues in developing – and then implementing – a vision for a ‘sustainable’ countryside and for sustainable rural communities. Key note speakers addressed several overarching themes. What is a ‘sustainable’ countryside? How do we balance the demands of making the changes in land use required by climate change adaptation and mitigation, while also ensuring food security? And how do we reconcile these objectives with the continuing protection of biodiversity and precious landscapes?

The three panel themes addressed key challenges for the future regulation and governance of our countryside: (i) climate change policy and its implementation, (ii) new technologies in the energy sector, including farm-based energy production, and (iii) new technologies in food production.

You can download the full programme.

Within the Environmental Regulation Research Group our staff engage in a wide range of activities:

  • Professor Chris Rodgers has had extensive experience of collaborative funded research, and is currently Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary AHRC Environment and Landscape Programme larger research grant project focussing on the implementation of environmental management of commons under new powers in the Commons Act 2006. For more information see the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme:
  • Professor David Manning has recently conducted two projects on landfill regulation for the Environment Agency, and managed on their behalf by AEA Technology Ltd. Potential modes of generation of vinyl chlorides within landfill gas (2005-6), and a study of concentration limits for sulphate within waste going to landfill (2005-7). Using landfill tax credit funding, he has carried out several projects in collaboration with industry and the Environment Agency to establish criteria for the design and regulation of landfill drainage systems. These are designed to enable landfill operators to meet the regulatory requirements to leachates above landfill seal. The work was funded by the Oaklands Foundation (Cory Environmental's landfill trust).
  • Dr Tony Zito recently completed an ESRC funded project with colleagues at Hull and UEA on Innovation in Environmental Governance: a Comparative Analysis of New Environmental Policy Instruments. This project engaged policy-makers in the EC Directorate Generals as well as the Ministries of Finance and Environment in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands - principally through interactive seminars financed and hosted by the Ministries and EC DG Environment. In 2006 he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to conduct a comparative study of environmental agencies (including the Environment Agency and the European Environmental Agency) where he is organising similar collaborative activities to promote policy learning.
  • Professor Rodgers and Elizabeth Stockdale are also members of Newcastle University's Centre for Rural Economy (CRE), which has strong links with industry.